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Old 08-16-2007, 01:13 PM
 
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I would really like to hear from anyone who lives on Lake of the Pines of perhaps in Jefferson or Daingerfield. I have land on Toledo Bend on the Louisiana side, but it appears that it would be better for me to get over into East Texas to avoid the state income tax. My problem with Toledo Bend is that it is rather far from mid-sized town amenities and medical. I do like that fact that Toledo Bend is not a corps lake and allows you to have a lease-back on the lake and even a dock.

Lake of the Pines seems like a beautiful area and it is much closer to retirement amenities. It is far enough from Dallas to still have some very reasonable real estate prices. If I get a place on the lake, will the corps allow me to cut any trees that might obstruct my view? Is there a lot of water level fluctuation on the lake? In other words, do you have a "mud hole" situation in some of the shallower areas? Some people warn me about property taxes in Texas, but not having a state income tax--most of my money would come from unearned investment income--would more than makeup for that.

Any information on the area would be appreciated. It appears the real estate market is divided between north shore and south shore properties. I understand that Jefferson is a very quaint and historic town. And the fall foliage is supposed to be beautiful. You don't have to tell me about heat and humdidity in East Texas because I am used to that sort of weather--having lived in Pensacola, Florida, for over 20 years. Also, I like being further north in East Texas to assure I don't get hurricane force winds. I have been through 3 major hurricanes here in Pensacola.

So, help me out, anyone. I have done a real study of waterfront property and Lake of the Pines seems to be a relatively undiscovered gem. Am I right. Is it the humidity and heat that are keeping it less of a hot market? Thanks.
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Old 08-17-2007, 05:39 AM
 
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It is real close to Shreveport-Bossier and Longview for city amenities
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Old 08-17-2007, 07:01 AM
 
Location: A little suburb of Houston
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Glad you are thinking about Lake O the Pines. I have spent many of my happiest moments there and have a house on the south side of the lake. There are pros and cons to the lake. The lake is not a "mudhole" but does have a number of creeks coming off of it that can get low and in this past year non-existant due to the drought. Brushy Creek disappeared and I have never seen that happen in 40 years. I think the lake was really at a record low this past spring. Recent rains have brought the lake up dramatically. Now that the City of Longview has tapped in to the lake for a water source, natural shifts are a little bit more dramatic than they were.

The north side of the lake has some very nice communities but does not have as easy access to things like major grocery stores etc. The south and west sides of the lake has easier access to Longview and the east end better access to Jefferson, Longview, and Marshall. BTW Jefferson is a lovely little town but has only one grocery store and no medical facilities. The NW side has access to Dangerfield which is ok if you like small towns, there is a major grocery there.

The corp is very picky about the lake but I don't think they have an immediate problem about thinning trees. There is also a regional government oversight because the lake is used as a water source and they stictly enforce septic tank rules among other things that will effect the water.

I suggest you take a trip to the lake and stay somewhere like Tejas Village (on the south side) to get an idea for the area. I believe they have small bungalos to rent and a beautiful view of the lake.
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Old 08-17-2007, 11:24 AM
 
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Thumbs up Thanks, Poltracker. I am sure it is no mudhole!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Poltracker View Post
Glad you are thinking about Lake O the Pines. I have spent many of my happiest moments there and have a house on the south side of the lake. There are pros and cons to the lake. The lake is not a "mudhole" but does have a number of creeks coming off of it that can get low and in this past year non-existant due to the drought. Brushy Creek disappeared and I have never seen that happen in 40 years. I think the lake was really at a record low this past spring. Recent rains have brought the lake up dramatically. Now that the City of Longview has tapped in to the lake for a water source, natural shifts are a little bit more dramatic than they were.

The north side of the lake has some very nice communities but does not have as easy access to things like major grocery stores etc. The south and west sides of the lake has easier access to Longview and the east end better access to Jefferson, Longview, and Marshall. BTW Jefferson is a lovely little town but has only one grocery store and no medical facilities. The NW side has access to Dangerfield which is ok if you like small towns, there is a major grocery there.

The corp is very picky about the lake but I don't think they have an immediate problem about thinning trees. There is also a regional government oversight because the lake is used as a water source and they stictly enforce septic tank rules among other things that will effect the water.

I suggest you take a trip to the lake and stay somewhere like Tejas Village (on the south side) to get an idea for the area. I believe they have small bungalos to rent and a beautiful view of the lake.
You gave me some great information. I will look into Tejas Village. I do not mind restrictions that enhance the beauty and the clarity of the lake. I know about the recent drought--Toledo Bend got to record lows. The fact that Longview gets its drinking water there is actually good--it will put pressure on keeping the lake cleaner and the water has to be high enough for the intake pumps to work to get water to the city.

Some of the places I see for sale have docks. Do you have a boat dock? Some Corps lakes only let you have a slip at a community marina. I gather there is pretty good medical at Longview or Marshall. Must be a hospital in Jefferson. Do you think Jefferson is becoming one of the "trendy" retirement centers? You mention Shreveport--my experience with the city is the southside on the way to Toledo Bend--and--excuse my French--but a "real dump!" I think of Bette Davis in an old movie--she takes one look at a small Wisconsin logging town and says--"What a dump!" Actually, I am a small town boy but I hate concrete jungles, decaying warehouse districts, crumbling infrastructure, ghetto-like neighborhoods--that is Shreveport south of the airport.

Now, I know Bossier City is much different. But going into Shreveport for medical or cultural amenities leaves me cold. I will stay in Texas, thank you. I think Tyler has a lot of good medical. As to Dallas--too big for this small town boy. My blood pressure goes up thinking of the traffic.

Jefferson is about the size of the town I grew up in--I think I would like it.

How busy is the lake on Summer weekends? Is it choked with jet skis, et. al.

Keep the info coming. Also, how much lake frontage do you have. I would like about 150 feet to have some privacy. Course, I will have to pay for it. Are there new developments going in on the main lake--I like a bigger view. Do new listings come up frequently? Is there some breeze on the lake? Does it get choked with hydrangia and weeds in the heat of the summer? Does it have any sandy beach?

Hey, I'm Mr. Questions, here. Thanks so much for your reply. It just seems to be one of the prettier settings in all of East Texas. God Bless.
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Old 08-17-2007, 01:10 PM
 
Location: A little suburb of Houston
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kurt View Post
You gave me some great information. I will look into Tejas Village. I do not mind restrictions that enhance the beauty and the clarity of the lake. I know about the recent drought--Toledo Bend got to record lows. The fact that Longview gets its drinking water there is actually good--it will put pressure on keeping the lake cleaner and the water has to be high enough for the intake pumps to work to get water to the city.

Some of the places I see for sale have docks. Do you have a boat dock? Some Corps lakes only let you have a slip at a community marina. I gather there is pretty good medical at Longview or Marshall. Must be a hospital in Jefferson. Do you think Jefferson is becoming one of the "trendy" retirement centers? You mention Shreveport--my experience with the city is the southside on the way to Toledo Bend--and--excuse my French--but a "real dump!" I think of Bette Davis in an old movie--she takes one look at a small Wisconsin logging town and says--"What a dump!" Actually, I am a small town boy but I hate concrete jungles, decaying warehouse districts, crumbling infrastructure, ghetto-like neighborhoods--that is Shreveport south of the airport.

Now, I know Bossier City is much different. But going into Shreveport for medical or cultural amenities leaves me cold. I will stay in Texas, thank you. I think Tyler has a lot of good medical. As to Dallas--too big for this small town boy. My blood pressure goes up thinking of the traffic.

Jefferson is about the size of the town I grew up in--I think I would like it.

How busy is the lake on Summer weekends? Is it choked with jet skis, et. al.

Keep the info coming. Also, how much lake frontage do you have. I would like about 150 feet to have some privacy. Course, I will have to pay for it. Are there new developments going in on the main lake--I like a bigger view. Do new listings come up frequently? Is there some breeze on the lake? Does it get choked with hydrangia and weeds in the heat of the summer? Does it have any sandy beach?

Hey, I'm Mr. Questions, here. Thanks so much for your reply. It just seems to be one of the prettier settings in all of East Texas. God Bless.
My house is not directly on the lake, it is about 2 blocks off the water at Island View. I do not recommend Island view at this time as it is primarily a private owned trailer community (though not for much longer because the owner is very elderly and his kids will raze the place) and at the current time (it was great from the 60s through 80's) is a haven for druggies. Kinda scary but when we are there we mind our business and the neighbors look out when we are not. There are only about 15 houses in the area only a couple have water access. The corp IS picky about boat docks especially new ones. Those already contructed tend to be grandfathered, I'm not sure what it would take to get a new one. There is a mixture of community docks and private ones around the lake.

Jefferson does not have medical facilities of any kind. Marshall does but the hospitals in Longview are much better. With Longview and Marshall handy, there is not really a need to go into Shreveport unless you need to go to the airport or go gambling. Jefferson is very quaint and very small, like I said only one grocery, alot of antique shops and fast food along 59. There is a good little place we always eat at across the street from the playhouse, I would recommend it if you visit. Other small towns in the area include Ore City(west), Avinger (north), Lone Star(west). Dangerfield and Hughes Springs are a little farther to the north.

The lake does get busy in the summer but not as busy as one near a major metro area like Houston or Dallas. The fishing is really good most of the time and you will see quite a few sail powered vehicles out on the water too. Also a lot of hunters on the public land at the east end of the lake during the fall. The two major camping areas are Brushy creek and Buckhorn on either side of the dam.

There is a lot of new development in the area between Longview and the lake, kinda sad to see the forest mowed down and ranchland lost but well... Most of those communities are high end for the area. There is not a lot of new development along the lake itself. Most of the land in the floodway is owned by later generations of early owners and they keep it pretty tight. I do not believe they allow any new construction in the floodway(our house is just above it and was built right after the impoundment). Which kinda limits new homes directly on the lake unless you can afford at several acres and meet the setbacks. The creeks are a different matter altogether if you can find a spot on one.

I encourage you to go there and take a look around. The lake is in very rustic setting.
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Old 08-17-2007, 03:14 PM
 
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Default I am liking what I hear from you.

Poltracker: Once again, very helpful information. I am glad to see that there is some sail craft on the water. I am strickly a row/kayak/canoe/small fishing motor sort of guy. I had all that go-go stuff when I was young at our cabin in Northern Minnesota. My goal is to find a lake that is scenic and a climate that is warmer than Northern Minnesota. I currently have a place on Grand Lake in Northeast Oklahoma that I rent out. I could get a very good price for that and wait around for any openings that might come on some of the more grandfathered land nearer the water. Grand Lake may be a bit too cold for me and I am on the prime recreation end that is close to Tulsa--and it is very busy on the Summer Weekends. Can't really fish or canoe then. Lots of oil money has some very big places. Mine is more modest--but I know I could get a good price. I also like the tax climate better in Texas. Lots of decidious trees around me and I like pine better. I really like Toledo Bend--but it is so far from amenities like medical and a bit of culture and dining. It seems that your lake just may be about right--not too big--not too small.

I grew up in Grand Rapids, Minnesota--the county seat of Itasca County--a city of about 7,000. It was the largest city in the county. Our cabin--it is still in the family but in my brother's name--is on Pokegama Lake 10 miles south of town. Very beautiful. But also very cold for too much of the year.

I at first thought the Corps was too strict on their lakes--but I can see that the big thing is to protect them and the water quality. I would still like a dock--if not to be as near the lake as possible with setback and some view.

I definitely want out of the Gulf Coast hurricane belt. I investigated south Toledo Bend and Sam Rayburn Lakes. Gosh, they told me about Rita. It tore them up bad.

How many stumps are in your lake? At first I hated stumps but now know they can keep jet skis from getting too close to the shore. I like that.

Once I get my teaching schedule down for this Semester, I think I will make a reservation for Tejas Village for the Christmas break. I am single and have no immediate family except for the brother way up in Alaska--and I will not go too far North ever again in the winter. The snow and ice just kill me. I don't mind some seasonal change--but in front of our cabin there are fish houses on 3 foot thick ice and cars driving on the lake for 6 months of the year!

I am a conservationist but not an eco-extremist. It is sad to see more growth and the cutting down of trees. But there has to be some give-and-take. There are so many of us boomers that want to be on or near the water with pine trees over our heads without freezing our cajones off in the winter.

Where do you live year round? How close are you to retirement. What are your plans. Do you want to live near the lake??? You mention some nice creeks. Are they clear running? I take it there are some gentle hills in the area. Do you ever get ice storms. Is it mostly red clay hills and pine around there?

If I come I will fly into Shreveport and rent a car--do you recommend an SUV to explore the roads around the lake. I imagine there can be mud on alot of the dirt roads.

If you want to see my land for sale on Toledo Bend Google Bo Dowden Realty at Toledo Bend. You will see it as 36 acres for 180K. It is nice but very isolated. It will develop in the next 15-20 years but it is fish camp territory for now. Would love to hear more about an area you obviously are in love with.
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Old 08-17-2007, 05:39 PM
 
Location: A little suburb of Houston
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If you like canoeing this is a perfect spot. Great canoeing along the Big Cypress creek. You launch just below the dam and can go all the way to Caddo lake which is natural not impounded. In between is a large conservation area owned by the nature conservancy. Lots of critters to enjoy on that route. Other creeks have some ok canoeing. All creeks are stained water w/ lots of tannins and the area is indeed a mix of red clay, iron ore, and pine trees.

There are stumps in the lake generally at the west and southwest sides but plenty of open water too. This lake is not as big as the lake in OK or as Rayburn or TB but its nice.

There are many hills in the area of the lake, I would call them gently rolling. Tejas is on top of one that overlooks a lovely cove on the lake. As for weather, it is generally pretty temperate but you do get freezing temps and ice storms, and snow every once in a while. the lake is oriented east to west so it is fun to watch storms from the east end as they progress across the lake (good fish catching time if you time it right). It is, however, in the tornado zone. That is what finally ended Island View, a tornado came through and wiped out the docks and all the boats and barges moored there (my grandparent's barge included). One also hit one of the camping areas a while back and did damage.

I live in Houston full-time and am a ways from retiring and haven't considered it yet. The house is a family home inherited from my grandparents. It started out as a one room (about 900 sq ft) lake house with a sleeping porch but is now a 1500sq ft home and we all go up and spend time there and visit relatives that live in the area.
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Old 08-18-2007, 11:47 AM
 
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Default Grandpa's barge.

I like the idea of watching those storms come down the lake. Sounds just beautiful. Do you mean some sort of a large flatboat for fishing when you mention Grandpa's barge? Was he there when they first impounded the lake? Is Island View permanently out-of-business as far as the Corps is concerned or could someone start something up again? There I go with the questions--sorry--you don't really have to answer them. Gently rolling hills are what I am looking for. And the pine trees. So you live in Houston. Guess you know what Hurricanes can be like. Goodness, from what I have heard about Houston I would virtually die with all the traffic and congestion. I did have some junk bonds in Lyondell Chemical on the Ship Channel that paid off rather well some years back. I know Houston folks have some hurricane retreats around Big Sam and T-Bend. I am not really looking for such a big lake--but one big enough to have some scenery and a bit of water action. I don't want something totally choked with water weeds. I wonder if the stumpy areas might have some real estate available. Less desireable for many but for me I don't mind them in the water. I would like a big water view but don't mind looking over some stumps. Do check out my land on Bo Dowden Realty on North Toledo Bend. We are not supposed to solicit in the forum so I am not trying to get you to buy it. But I just wanted you to know that I am serious about all this lake stuff and have been around the block and Lake of the Pines has now come up as having great vibes for me. By the way, we have tornadoes in Minnesota, too. I think the biggest obstacle for many potential retirees in East Texas is the heat and humidity. I made my peace with that a long time ago. I simply want water and trees. Caddo Lake is really fascinating--as you say--a natural lake--and probably earthquake and log jam related. But it is really a bayou lake and I would hesitate to dip my toe in it with those cotton mouths and alligators

If you want. Tell me more about Grandpa or old memories on the lake. Say, are your property taxes low on the place you have there? I know they would be higher if on the lake. Thanks again.
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Old 08-18-2007, 02:30 PM
 
Location: A little suburb of Houston
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kurt View Post
I like the idea of watching those storms come down the lake. Sounds just beautiful. Do you mean some sort of a large flatboat for fishing when you mention Grandpa's barge? Was he there when they first impounded the lake? Is Island View permanently out-of-business as far as the Corps is concerned or could someone start something up again? There I go with the questions--sorry--you don't really have to answer them. Gently rolling hills are what I am looking for. And the pine trees. So you live in Houston. Guess you know what Hurricanes can be like. Goodness, from what I have heard about Houston I would virtually die with all the traffic and congestion. I did have some junk bonds in Lyondell Chemical on the Ship Channel that paid off rather well some years back. I know Houston folks have some hurricane retreats around Big Sam and T-Bend. I am not really looking for such a big lake--but one big enough to have some scenery and a bit of water action. I don't want something totally choked with water weeds. I wonder if the stumpy areas might have some real estate available. Less desireable for many but for me I don't mind them in the water. I would like a big water view but don't mind looking over some stumps. Do check out my land on Bo Dowden Realty on North Toledo Bend. We are not supposed to solicit in the forum so I am not trying to get you to buy it. But I just wanted you to know that I am serious about all this lake stuff and have been around the block and Lake of the Pines has now come up as having great vibes for me. By the way, we have tornadoes in Minnesota, too. I think the biggest obstacle for many potential retirees in East Texas is the heat and humidity. I made my peace with that a long time ago. I simply want water and trees. Caddo Lake is really fascinating--as you say--a natural lake--and probably earthquake and log jam related. But it is really a bayou lake and I would hesitate to dip my toe in it with those cotton mouths and alligators

If you want. Tell me more about Grandpa or old memories on the lake. Say, are your property taxes low on the place you have there? I know they would be higher if on the lake. Thanks again.

A barge is kind of a homemade party/fishing craft. It is on pontoons instead of a hull. Think of a travel trailer on water. Some are fancy, some are basic with just a platform and top. Also sometimes called a houseboat, folks are living in fancier versions of these old barges on lakes and bays all over the US now. We used to anchor out in the creeks and spend the night to be ready for crappy in the morning. Also to use as a platform to swim in the middle of the lake and have BBQs.

Island View is not outta business just yet. You can still launch from there and get bait and sodas but it will not be there much longer. It is privately owned by the same family since the late 1800's. A large portion of the impoundment of that side of the lake was their property (they were never happy about that). My family has owned property there since the lake was impounded in 1954.

If you visit, I suggest you go to the south side of the lake (there is a store at the S side of the dam) and ask for a member of the Watts family, they can fill you in on the history of the lake and the whole area and tell where to find all the hidey holes along the lake.

The property taxes in Marion County are very low compared to here in Houston probably 1/10th what I pay for my smaller house and lot here. Of course that means it is a bit rustic. If you want your ditch cleared, it is likely that the county commissioner himself will come out with a buddy, a shovel and maybe a backhoe to clear it. Don't laugh because it has happened.

If you interested in running a business on the lake, I know there was a place on the north side for sale a while back that had a big lodge, air strip, and a beautiful view. Don't know if it is still available or how much.
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Old 08-18-2007, 04:29 PM
 
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Default Houseboat/pontoon boat, oh yeah. I get it.

Hey, that brought back some memories. On the lake I grew up on in Minnesota people would weld together barrels and lash a platform on them and have a houseboat. Yeah, I know what that is. Lots of good times chugging up and down the lake.

I was always the quiet type but my older brother practically lived on one of those barges. They would hook up their speed boats to them in the middle of the lake and ski from there. Good clean fun. Barbecues and all.

Remember those Tammy movies set in Louisiana Cajun country--Bayou Teche--where she lived on a houseboat with Grandpa. Ohhh! I had a real crush on Tammy!

I used to dream about a place on the bayous where it never got real cold. I know Lake of the Pines is farther north--but I need to get beyond that immediate hurricane belt. Right now we have Dean out there. Forecast is for it not to come to the central Gulf and probably go into Mexico. But Brownsville should not breathe a sigh of relief yet. Man, I lost a roof to Ivan here in Pensacola and was without power for 3 weeeks. We had national guard patrolling streets and directing traffic. And that was not enough--Jeb Bush called out the regular troops for a spell. After Katrina we ran out of gas because folks from Mississippi came over here and got it all. After Rita we again ran out of gas--terrible lines at gas stations and some nasty violence. People could not get to work. The barge--that is the real industrial type--that brings our oil from your neighborhood--Beaumont-Port Arthur--was out of commission. Not to mention refineries gone. Course, if you were in Houston you had the big exodus northwards. Ugggh!

Anyways, your posts bring back so many happy memories of my lake days. That is great advice about seeking out the Watts family for some history. If I do so I will be very nice and discreet. On Toledo Bend there are still folks that lost land when the Sabine River valley was flooded and they are resentful of all the changes. T-Bend was impounded in the 1960s and was supposed to take 3 years to fillup. Soooo--they were just starting to clear out the timber when a huge tropical system dumped about 3 feet of rain and she filled up and remained filled for a longtime. Thus, lots of stumps in the water making most of it a fishing lake.

I will keep in touch with you. I definitely plan to do the lake over the Christmas Break. Winter is a nice time--cooler and you can see the lay of the land. Hope there are no ice storms. I will fly into Shreveport and proceed over to the big piney pond and the gentle hills.
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